COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The former law firm of temporarily disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Murdaugh in connection to his alleged misallocation of millions of dollars in company funds. The suit also inquires “whether Murdaugh has entered into any agreements that involve future payments related to books, interviews, or other publicity.”
Murdaugh’s former firm — Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick (PMPED) — hopes to identify where the “ill-gotten funds went and if any of it is hidden away.”
PMPED alleges Murdaugh funneled money through a bank account under the name of ‘Alexander Murdaugh d/b/a Forge,’ which the suit claims “is a fictitious entity that provides no services and makes no products for sale.” Murdaugh used the account to “convert monies owed to PMPED and its clients to his own personal use.”
The firm also claims that Murdaugh “on occasion, used firm assets in an unauthorized manner and without the consent or knowledge of his former partners to further his scheme to defraud.”
To avoid raising red flags, PMPED says that Murdaugh disguised “disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney’s fees that he had earned, when in fact they were deposited into the fictitious account.”
Murdaugh allegedly chose Forge because PMPED has a long-standing business relationship with a legitimate company under that name in Columbia.
PMPED also alleged that someone at PMPED found a check on Murdaugh’s desk for funds owed to the company, but the check was made out to Murdaugh individually. After finding the suspicious check, PMPED says that they opened “a review of prior settlements” of Murdaugh’s cases.
“The review showed numerous checks made payable to ‘Forge’ or ‘Forge Consulting, LLC’ but the files did not contain the normal documentation.” When PMPED asked Forge about the transactions, “Forge confirmed that it had not provided any services for the clients identified by PMPED.”
PMPED confronted Murdaugh on September 3 and he admitted to the scheme then resigned from the company.
According to PMPED, all clients that they know to have been impacted have already been reimbursed. However, “it is anticipated that additional information may become known that could lead to more losses to PMPED as it protects its clients’ interests,” according to the suit.
In response to the suit, one of Alex Murdaugh’s current attorneys issued the following statement:
“This is a very sad development. Alex holds every member of the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick law firm in very high esteem. He has pledged his full cooperation to the firm.”Jim Griffin, attorney for Alex Murduagh
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.